Rixon Stewart — Sept 24, 2013
At least three Westerners took part in the Nairobi mall attack, according to Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed. Speaking to reporters on Monday night she said “Two or three Americans” and “one Brit” were among the attackers at the Westgate Mall and one in particular played a leading role.
The Somali militant group that has claimed responsibility for the attack, al Shabaab has vehemently denied the minister’s claims.
Nonetheless, eyewitnesses at the Westgate Mall say a white woman who spoke English appeared to lead the attackers.
Kenyan newspaper, The Star, quoted survivors who saw a woman who appeared to be in command as the attackers stormed the mall.
Two employees of the Radio Africa Group, which is based at the mall, told reporters that “a woman appeared to be giving orders.”
According to The Star: “One said her face was covered but she had a woman’s arms and body. She was not carrying a gun but had a large bag around her waist.”
The witnesses said she gave instructions in English which were translated into Swahili as the attackers took control of the shopping centre.
The paper quoted a witness as saying: “The woman was not armed but as soon as she issued orders, the men would go on a killing rampage.”
Another witness said: “It was definitely a woman because we could tell it from the voice.”
Their accounts have been corroborated by Kenyan security officials who have viewed the mall’s CCTV footage of the attack. One unnamed security official told The Star that a ” light skinned or even Caucasian woman” was among the attackers.